"In 2015, approximately 20.8 million people aged 12 or older had an SUD in the past year, including 15.7 million people who had an alcohol use disorder and 7.7 million people who had an illicit drug use disorder (Figure 27). An estimated 2.7 million people aged 12 or older had both an alcohol use disorder and an illicit drug use disorder in the past year (Figure 28). Thus, among people aged 12 or older in 2015 who had an SUD in the past year, nearly 3 out of 4 had an alcohol use disorder, and about 1 out of 3 had an illicit drug use disorder.
Addictive Potential: "Of the people who sample a particular substance, what portion will become physiologically or psychologically dependent on the drug for some period of time? Heroin and methamphetamine are the most addictive by this measure. Cocaine, pentobarbital (a fast-acting sedative), nicotine and alcohol are next, followed by marijuana and possibly caffeine. Some hallucinogens—notably LSD, mescaline and psilocybin—have little or no potential for creating dependence."
Ranking of Substances by Potential for Harm: "Method: Members of the Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs, including two invited specialists, met in a 1-day interactive workshop to score 20 drugs on 16 criteria: nine related to the harms that a drug produces in the individual and seven to the harms to others. Drugs were scored out of 100 points, and the criteria were weighted to indicate their relative importance."
"Some 4.3 percent of Americans have been dependent on marijuana, as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th Edition, Text Revision(DSM-IV-TR; American Psychiatric Association,2000), at some time in their lives. Marijuana produces dependence less readily than most other illicit drugs. Some 9 percent of those who try marijuana develop dependence compared to, for example, 15 percent of people who try cocaine and 24 percent of those who try heroin.
"It is clear, however, that cannabis use did not compromise substance abuse treatment amongst the medical marijuana using group. In fact, medical marijuana users seemed to fare equal to or better than non-medical marijuana users in every important outcome category. Movement from more harmful to less harmful drugs is an improvement worthy of consideration by treatment providers and policymakers. The economic cost of alcohol use in California has been estimated at $38 billion .
"Eighty five percent of the BPG [Berkeley Patients Group] sample reported that cannabis has much less adverse side effects than their prescription medications. Additionally, the top two reasons listed by participants as reasons for substituting cannabis for one of the substances previously mentioned were less adverse side effects from cannabis (65%) and better symptom management from cannabis (57.4%).
"NSDUH’s overall estimates of SUD include people who met the DSM-IV criteria for either dependence or abuse for alcohol or illicit drugs. In 2017, approximately 19.7 million people aged 12 or older had an SUD in the past year, including 14.5 million people who had an alcohol use disorder and 7.5 million people who had an illicit drug use disorder (Figure 39).
"NSDUH’s overall estimates of SUD [Substance Use Disorder] include people who met the DSM-IV criteria for either dependence or abuse for alcohol or illicit drugs. In 2018, approximately 20.3 million people aged 12 or older had an SUD in the past year, including 14.8 million who had an alcohol use disorder and 8.1 million who had an illicit drug use disorder (Figure 42). Among the 8.1 million people who had an illicit drug use disorder, the most common disorders were for marijuana (4.4 million) and misuse of prescription pain relievers (1.7 million).
"'Opioid' is a generic term for natural or synthetic substances that bind to specific opioid receptors in the CNS, producing an agonist action. Opioids are also called narcotics—a term originally used to refer to any psychoactive substance that induces sleep. Opioids have both analgesic and sleep-inducing effects, but the 2 effects are distinct from each other.
"Ibogaine, a natural alkaloid extracted from the root bark of the African shrub Tabernanthe Iboga, has attracted attention because of its reported ability to reverse human addiction to multiple drugs of abuse, including alcohol. Human anecdotal reports assert that a single administration of ibogaine reduces craving for opiates and cocaine for extended periods of time and reduces opiate withdrawal symptoms (Sheppard 1994; Mash et al., 1998; Alper et al., 1999). Studies also suggest that ibogaine attenuates drug- and ethanol induced behaviors in rodents.